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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong Sunday 8am, 9:45am +livestream, 11:30am Easy English, 5pm and 7pm
I am thankful to God for the valuable ministry of Mike and Lydia Russell preparing and presenting the 5-week course, ‘Building a Safe and Strong Marriage’.
Jon and I participated earlier in the term. Knowing the difficulties faced by many couples, we see this marriage enrichment ministry as particularly crucial in today’s age. August was busy for us. But we wanted to prioritise the course.
Each 2-hour session included DVD presentations by Keith and Sarah Condie, ‘couple time’ discussion and a special dessert. The content was driven by Biblical principles backed by modern research.
This course is suitable for any age or stage of marriage, and not just for Christians. We were so encouraged to see the attendance of couples married for a year, as well as couples married for many decades.
We learnt how our relating through verbal and non-verbal communication can damage our emotional connectedness (specifically in marriage, but also in any relationship). Couples were encouraged to spend time building their friendship and to care for the physical and spiritual needs of our spouse. We were reminded of helpful ways to speak, listen and manage conflict.
The course assumes that every marriage will have difficult times. It gives space to acknowledge this as normal, diagnose problem areas early (as well as late) and language to talk it through with your spouse. Jon and I reflected that this is such a valuable way to be equipped for dealing with issues as they arise.
‘Little things every day’ was one catchphrase used through the sessions. The principle here is that small, regular ways of showing that you value the other person (by words or actions) build a stronger foundation than elaborate once-a-year gestures. This is a reminder that marriage (along with many kinds of relationships) require daily effort!
By deliberately working to build a strong and safe marriage, we are better placed to serve others, as well as our spouse. As forgiven sinners, seeking to honour our commitment to each other, we need God’s help by His Spirit to forgive, repent of self-centeredness, show mercy, serve and respect.
Are you married? We couldn’t recommend this course strongly enough.
Thanks to the babysitters who enabled us to attend. Thanks again to Mike and Lydia’s ministry in leading these courses for many years now. And thanks be to God for His steadfast love & faithfulness that endures forever.
(11am Easy English Church member)